Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Cakes & Bakes: Redcurrant muffins

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

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Redcurrant muffin with a cup of tea | H is for Home

So far on our allotment, the only things that have come to fruition are the currant bushes that we inherited. The last time we were there we did a little bit of weeding but we spent the vast majority of our time picking shiny, jewel-like blackcurrants and redcurrants. We harvested almost a kilo of the latter – that’s over £10-worth from a supermarket! 125 grams of it was put towards making a batch of redcurrant muffins.

We acquired a silicon muffin tray in a boxed lot at an auction many moons ago that we surprisingly, have never used. Fished out, dusted down and washed; it turned out 6 big, beautiful muffin specimens! Silicon is a revelation – baked goods ease out of it with no cajoling whatsoever! If you’ve not tried it before, Lakeland does a good range of affordable silicon baking tins, pans and trays.

The redcurrant muffin recipe used here was found on the Abel & Cole website. The rest of the redcurrants have been put into the freezer temporarily, waiting to be turned into jam, jelly and relish; so keep a watch out for some more redcurrant recipes to follow!

Cakes & Bakes: Redcurrant muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: makes 12 small or 6 large muffins

Cakes & Bakes: Redcurrant muffins

Ingredients

  • 60g Stork or butter
  • 175g plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • ½tsp salt
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 120ml milk
  • 125g fresh redcurrants
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Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Grease a 12-hole muffin pan (We have a 6-hole silicone muffin pan that makes lovely large, tall muffins!) or insert paper muffin cases
  3. Put the Stork/butter into a microwave-proof bowl or measuring jug and heat on a low setting for 20 seconds. Set aside to cool
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl
  5. Add all but 2 tbsp of the caster sugar - this is being reserved to sprinkle over the muffin tops prior to going into the oven
  6. In a small measuring jug, beat the egg a few times until the yolk & white is just combined
  7. Whisk in the milk and melted Stork/butter
  8. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, stirring quickly and gently until flour is just dampened
  9. Gently fold in the redcurrants, being careful not to burst too many of them
  10. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin , filling each slightly more than half full
  11. Sprinkle the 2tbsp of reserved sugar over each muffin
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes away clean
  13. Cool on a wire rack for a few minutes prior to serving
  14. Keep in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 3 days
http://hisforhomeblog.com/cakes-bakes/cakes-bakes-redcurrant-muffins/

Cakes & Bakes: Rhubarb and berry shortcake pie

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

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Rhubarb and berry shortcake pie |H is for Home

We have a rhubarb plant growing in a dolly tub our garden that hasn’t done at all well this year. The stalks normally stand tall and to attention but they seem to have lost their va va voom. They’re thin and bendy from the weight of their huge leaves. I decided to chop them all down today in the hope that they’d revive with more vigour next year.

We also still have an ice cream tub full of frozen blackberries that we picked late last summer. We kept some back when we did our jam & jelly making to use in compotes, crumbles etc. Ripening fruits are already in evidence on this year’s bushes so I thought I’d clear out the freezer in readiness for the new crop.

I found and adapted a rhubarb, blueberry and strawberry shortcake pie recipe found in Pie: Delicious sweet and savoury pies and pastries from steak and onion pie to pecan tart by Dean Brettschneider. It’s very much like a cobbler and is delicious hot or cold with vanilla ice cream, cream or – my favourite – a dollop of Rodda’s classic Cornish clotted cream!

Cakes & Bakes: Rhubarb and berry shortcake pie

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: makes 8 slices

Cakes & Bakes: Rhubarb and berry shortcake pie

Ingredients

  • For the shortbread
  • 125g butter, softened & cubed
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 225g plain flour
  • 25g cornflour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • For the filling
  • 3–4 stalks rhubarb
  • 3tbsp Demerara sugar
  • 250g fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 125g fresh or frozen blueberries
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Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400ºF/Gas mark 6
  2. Line a shallow 20–22cm round cake tin or flan dish with baking/parchment paper
  3. Put the cubed butter and caster sugar into a medium mixing bowl and, using a hand-held electric whisk, combine until light and fluffy
  4. Add the egg before sifting in the flour, cornflour and baking powder. Combine until just mixed
  5. Press the dough evenly over the bottom of the tin/dish
  6. Set aside the remainder of the dough, covering it with cling film
  7. Trim & slice the rhubarb before putting it into a large, non-stick frying pan
  8. Sprinkle over the Demerara sugar
  9. Put the pan over a low heat shaking the pan occasionally, until fruit is almost tender
  10. Add the blackberries & blueberries to the rhubarb, gently mix for a few seconds before turning off the heat and allowing the fruit to cool
  11. Spread the lukewarm fruit over the shortbread base before carefully dabbing pinches of the leftover dough over the top, allowing a little of the fruit to peep through
  12. Bake for 30 minutes or until the shortcake top turns golden brown
  13. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack and then onto a serving plate
  14. Sprinkle with icing sugar, slice and serve!
http://hisforhomeblog.com/cakes-bakes/cakes-bakes-rhubarb-berry-shortcake-pie/

Cakes & Bakes: Lemon refrigerator cookies

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

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stack of lemon refrigerator cookies

We needed a lemon last week for a gnocci dish. We didn’t have any in the house so I popped over to the supermarket quickly to get one. All they had were those string bags containing 4 lemons – they’d run out of the loose ones.

A week later, our fruit bowl still contained 3 lemons – just sitting there – what to do with them? I had a flick through some lemon recipes and saw one for lemon refrigerator cookies. The great thing about refrigerator cookies is that you can bake off just what you need. Say goodbye to stale teatime snacks!

If you fancy them again a few days later, just cut some more slices from the roll – fresh, warm cookies in 15 minutes flat!

Cakes & Bakes: Lemon refrigerator cookies

Yield: Make approximately 72 cookies

Cakes & Bakes: Lemon refrigerator cookies

Ingredients

  • 450g/1lb plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 225g/8oz butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
  • 350g/12oz caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • finely grated rind of 2 lemons
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Instructions

  1. Sift the flour & baking powder into a large bowl
  2. Add the butter and rub it with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
  3. Stir the sugar and lemon zest into the mixture, add the eggs and combine to form a soft dough
  4. Turn the mixture out on to a lightly floured work surface and divide the dough in half
  5. Shape each piece of dough into a log shape about 3cm/1¼inches in diameter
  6. Wrap each log in baking paper and then in foil and chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or until required (I put one of the logs in the freezer to use at a later date)
  7. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 5
  8. Grease a large baking sheet (or a few if you're making a big batch)
  9. Slice the dough into as many 8mm/⅜-inch slices as required
  10. Place the slices on the baking sheet, spaced well apart
  11. Return any remaining dough to the fridge for up to a week
  12. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown
  13. Leave on the baking sheet to cool slightly for 2-3 minutes before transferring to cool completely
http://hisforhomeblog.com/cakes-bakes/cakes-bakes-lemon-refrigerator-cookies/

Cakes & Bakes: Spelt cereal loaf

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

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spelt cereal loaf

I must confess, I have a soft spot for a Warburton’s Toastie. I love that first, fresh crust slice with just a thin scraping of butter (only Lurpak will do!). A couple of soft white slices from a ‘bought that day’ loaf, spread with some crunchy peanut butter and half a sliced banana… divine!

This spelt cereal loaf – I borrowed a recipe from Country Bread by Linda Collister & Anthony Blake – is a much more healthy option than most loaves of bread you’d buy in the supermarket. Spelt flour has more protein and a little less calories than regular wheat flour. The added oats, bran, wheatgerm and sunflower seeds crank the nutritional value up to the max.

Justin enjoyed a few slices today with a bit of pate. I fancy a cheese & Branston pickle doorstop!

Cakes & Bakes: Spelt cereal loaf

Yield: makes 1 medium loaf

Cakes & Bakes: Spelt cereal loaf

Ingredients

  • 250g white bread flour
  • 250g spelt flour
  • 100g rolled oats
  • 75g malt flakes
  • 50g wheatgerm
  • 25g sunflower seeds
  • 15g sea salt
  • 15g fresh or 7g dried yeast
  • 400ml lukewarm water
  • 2tsp olive oil
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Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flours with the cereals, seeds and salt
  2. Make a well in the centre
  3. Put the yeast into a measuring jug and make into a smooth liquid with a little of the water and pour into the well in the flour
  4. Add the olive oil and remainder of the water
  5. Gradually work the dry mixture into the liquid to make a soft, slightly sticky dough - it should not stick to the bowl or your fingers, so add a little more water if necessary
  6. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead well for 10 minutes
  7. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel or put the bowl into a large plastic bag and close tightly
  8. Leave to prove at room temperature until the dough has doubled in size - about 2 hours
  9. Knock back the risen dough with your knuckles to deflate it, then turn out onto a work surface
  10. Pat out into a rectangle the length of your banneton or greased tin before putting it into the container
  11. Cover and leave to rise again until almost double in size - 1-1½ hours
  12. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/Gas mark 7
  13. Uncover the dough (if using a banneton, carefully tip the dough out on to a greased baking sheet) and bake for 35 minutes until it turns golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom of the loaf
  14. Cool on a wire rack for at least half an hour before slicing & serving
http://hisforhomeblog.com/cakes-bakes/cakes-bakes-spelt-cereal-loaf/

Cakes & Bakes: Nutty millionaire’s shortbread

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

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nutty millionaire's shortbread

This nutty millionaire’s shortbread tastes SO much better than any I’ve ever bought from a shop. I happened to have bags of whole almonds and hazelnuts in the larder, but it would be equally as good if you made it using pecans, Brazil nuts or walnuts. Cashew butter instead of peanut in the shortbread could be a good alternative to try too!

Cakes & Bakes: Nutty millionaire’s shortbread

Yield: makes 9 squares

Cakes & Bakes: Nutty millionaire’s shortbread

Ingredients

  • For the shortbread
  • 125g/4oz butter, softened
  • 2tbs peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
  • 75g/3oz caster sugar
  • 75g/3oz cornflour
  • 175g/6oz plain flour
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  • For the topping
  • 397g/14oz tin of sweetened condensed milk
  • 100g/3½oz mixed nuts (I used ½ & ½ hazelnuts and almonds)
  • 125g/4oz plain dark chocolate
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Instructions

  1. To make the caramel topping, put the unopened tin in a heavy-based saucepan and completely cover with water. Cover the saucepan with its lid and boil for about 1½ hours, topping up the water level if needed.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350F/Gas mark 4, 10 minutes before baking.
  3. Line a 22cm/8inch square cake tin with parchment/greaseproof paper
  4. Cream together the butter and sugar until light
  5. Sift in the cornflour and plain flour and mix to form a smooth dough
  6. Using the back of a dessert spoon, press the mixture evenly into the lined cake tin and prick all over with a fork
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until just turning golden brown
  8. Put the nuts on to a baking tray and toast them in the oven for 10-15 minutes
  9. Remove the shortbread from the oven and set aside on a wire rack
  10. Remove the nuts from the oven and wrap them in a clean tea towel. Rub the nuts together to remove most of the skins (especially if you're using hazelnuts or 'red skinned' peanuts)
  11. Reserve 9 of the nuts, roughly chop the remainder and sprinkle them evenly across the shortbread
  12. Open the tin of boiled condensed milk (if the contents are quite rigid you can soften it by warming slightly in a saucepan on the stove or decant into a microwaveable container and heat for 20-30 seconds). Pour the caramel over the nuts and spread evenly. Refrigerate while you prepare the chocolate
  13. Break up the chocolate into pieces and put them into a heat-proof bowl
  14. Using a saucepan small enough not to allow the bowl to touch the bottom, fill the bowl with just enough water so that it doesn't come into contact with the base of the bowl
  15. Simmer the saucepan of water until the chocolate has just melted
  16. Pour the chocolate evenly over the top of the caramel
  17. Place the whole nuts on top of the chocolate, one for each portion
  18. Allow to set before slicing into squares & serving

Notes

You can parboil the tinned condensed milk in advance and the caramel can be stored for months & months before use. I always have a few cans of 'cooked' condensed milk stored in our larder.

http://hisforhomeblog.com/cakes-bakes/cakes-bakes-nutty-millionaires-shortbread/